Psychologists Propose “Sluggish Thought” Disorder


From STAT: “Williard took note as her mother mentioned a file from her school psychologist during a counseling appointment. She watched as her mom handed the file to the social worker to make a copy, then stuck the papers back in her purse. Later that night, Williard rummaged through the purse to find the file, a psychological evaluation from when she was 12. On that file was a mysterious classification, one neither her mother nor her school’s psychologist had since talked to her about: sluggish cognitive tempo.”

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  1. I agree with the critics, “Critics dismiss the construct as fatally flawed and argue that SCT is an outgrowth of misdiagnosis of ADHD that could result in many being prescribed inappropriate medications.”

    And the entire psychological industry needs to garner insight into the reality that their entire DSM “bible” was confessed to be “invalid,” in 2013, by the head of their industry.

    Thus continuing to make up more new “diagnoses” to stigmatize children with, so you may neurotoxic poison more children, is just really evil.

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      • This is slightly misleading. Clinical diagnoses have validity in certain circumstances. Lyme is, in fact, a clinical diagnosis but many doctors withhold treatment if a patient doesn’t meet the CDC surveillance criteria (5 out of 10 specific “bands” must be positive on the blood test), which even the CDC says is designed to be strict so that only clearly positive cases are counted. They estimate the number of actual cases from that strict surveillance count. However, most doctors will not treat unless a patient meets the strict surveillance criteria, so that someone with only four positive bands, or a combination of other bands and only some of the specific bands, will be told their test is “inconclusive” and they don’t meet the requirements for treatment even though THEY ARE SICK WITH LYME.

        So it would be nice to stop hearing this uneducated denouncing of clinical diagnoses as being invalid. They exist throughout medicine.

        The problem is that the ENTIRE FIELD of psychiatry is built upon them and upon clinician judgment of what are normal thoughts, behaviors, and internal experiences. But this is not even remotely possible to do because cultures vary so greatly even amongst themselves. And inequality in western cultures exacerbated this to an extreme. It therefore becomes a tool of social control. What is normal becomes defined by those who are comfortable. It’s the same kind of deliberate misunderstanding as wondering why extremely oppressed people might riot and loot and destroy things when they’ve gotten to their breaking point. But if you have a nice job and your kids go to nice schools and you live in a nice neighborhood and you feel safe in your world, it is all too easy to other those with a different experience. You don’t have to understand them. You have the privilege of not seeing them. (Speaking of psychiatry here, not you, Steve.)

        The point is, there is little validity and heterogeneity among these groups of patients (unlike groups of patients in other diagnostic categories). Doctors and treatment providers pick a diagnosis out of a bucket for insurance purposes, not for treatment of a discreet well-defined illness.

        Clinical diagnosis has utility that shouldn’t be misrepresented in order to make the argument that basing an entire field of medicine on such is ill-conceived.

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  2. “Sluggish Thought Disorder” Who would have thought that up? Someone with sluggish thinking like a sloth up a tree in the rainforest. It hurts those so allegedly diagnosed in so many ways and it does shows how adults and others basically shirk their human responsibility in working with both children and adults. If we would just let children be children and adults be “children” we would be much better off. I put the quotes around “children” in regards to “adults” because, I personally believe that the true well-being of a person is when they do keep up their “adult responsibilities” to the best of their abilities while maintaining a child-like wonder of the world. Of course, this is uniquely tailored to each individual as to how each person is uniquely created as far as skills, abilities, interests, passions, etc. If someone allegedly has this “sluggish thought disorder” it’s probably because they are disrespected and discounted, etc. as to what makes them tremble with happiness in childlike joy. Thank you.

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  3. ‘Sluggish schizophrenia’ for failing to conform with the demands of the Soviet state. ‘Sluggish thought disorder’ for failing to conform with the demands of state school systems. It’s nice to know mental health professionals practice diagnostic recycling.

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    • The PANSS scale used by psychiatry can result in someone scoring psychotic if they score a 5 out of 7 for their grandiose, hostile, and suspicions disagreement with psychiatry. This scoring is actually slightly higher than the mean score for those labeled with “schizophrenia.” Get the lowest rating possible for delusions, conceptual disorganization and hallucinations and you can still be scored as more psychotic than the typical person labeled with “schizophrenia”.

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      • People do think sluggishly. We all do at times.


        Excuse the caps, it was a mis-hit but I LEFT IT there for effect.

        Without sluggish thinking we’d have big problems on our hands. The far right and the far left would be existentially threatened.


        Again that was an unintended caps-on but looks aesthetically brilliant,

        Follow the slime trail and trace it back to the sluggish thinker or the sluggish thought.

        Slugs themselves simply rest upon the vibrant living thing and absorb its energy.

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